Category Archives: Nursing

Patient Safety.

A patient comes to a hospital for specialised, intensive solution for a disease or illness. The entire spectrum of response to a patient is diagnosis, treatment, recuperation. Included in this spectrum is understanding, empathy and compassion. The sum total of this spectrum is PATIENT SAFETY. Nothing captures the essence of this more than one word does: SAFETY.

To that end, the entire hospital is calculated to provide each and every patient with the following ‘safetys’:

The SAFETY of quick and effortless admission
The SAFETY of rapid and accurate diagnosis
The SAFETY of efficient and efficacious treatment
The SAFETY of thorough and comfortable convalescence
The SAFETY of quick and timely discharge
The SAFETY of repeated access to hospital personnel for follow-up and assurance
The SAFETY of being charged reasonably, transparently and conveniently

Many of these SAFETYS are experienced by the patient first-hand at the hands of the nurses and Doctors. The nurses spend the most time with the patient and, more often than not, are the highest patient experience of the entire hospital’s excellence, expertise and empathy. Patients quickly form deep, unspoken bonds with their nurses, and even though their stay is short, these bonds are very deep and very important. That is why AHI nurse training pays so much importance to their ‘bedside manner’, and that is why AHI nurses are in such high demand.

It does not take too much imagination to understand the chaos and the pain that a nurse can cause if the nurse walks out on patients, some of them dependant on life-saving equipment and medicine. Any professionally-minded nurse would do everything in their power to be available to their patient. Patients relax and cooperate in the healing process when their nurse is in view. The physical presence of the nurse alone is of incalculable importance. Their duties are so critical: monitoring of vital signs, administration of life-saving medicines, alertness, watchfulness, and the power to summon the doctor at the right time.

To walk out of the hospital and abandon a patient who is at a critical stage of treatment or convalescence …. This is the deepest violation of the Hippocratic Oath and the Nurse’s Oath. (“To care for the sick without bias and not to abandon them”).
This is, again, an appropriate moment to express AHI’s gratitude to the 50 doctors and consultants, and the 50 nurses, who spent 96 straight hours at AHI, faithful to their patients, ensuring that medical care and attention to all patients continued seamlessly. This is professional dedication of the highest order, a dedication that fully understands that the only acceptable end of all effort is encapsulated in two words: PATIENT SAFETY.


For more information on diet, health and nutrition, please email Harpinder Gill at You are welcome to email us with any question on any health topic. Please allow 24 hours for an answer, and if your query seems requiring an urgent response, expect to hear from us before that time.

Nurse training at AHI

To properly appreciate the depth and scope of nurses training, it is important to appreciate that there is only one goal: patient care and safety. This goal is non-negotiable. Anything that falls short of this goal is completely unacceptable, for one simple fact: it is a human life at stake.

Inf act, a nurse plays a very large role in the treatment and recovery of a patient. It is the nurse who has to monitor the patient, monitor the medications, monitor the administration of the medications, monitor the vital signs. It is the nurse who is first alerted to a change in medication, the nurse who is first to know of a change. It is the nurse, more often than not, who will summon the proper doctor whenever warranted. So a nurse has that authority too.

Nurse training then is more than training in protocols and procedures. It is training in attitude, watchfulness, and concentration. A top-quality hospital will teach a nurse personal energy management (how to conserve and deploy their own energy), and how to work smart, not just work hard. Nurses must also be taught psychological astuteness (handling patient and patient’s family), emotional empathy, physical empathy (correctly recognising patient comfort and discomfort), and a practised eye for the many details that make for a holistic patient guardianship.

So a nurse training is more than the three stages of theory, practicals and functioning with independent responsibility. A good hospital will have a well-developed and matured corporate and care culture, and that must not only be absorbed by the nurse, the hospital will ensure that it is absorbed comfortably as well as accurately.

AHI nurse training covers all of the abovementioned dimensions, and is in itself modelled closely on the best international training practices. That is why AHI nurses are highly sought after across India and across the world.

Any hospital would take a AHI nurse (and they do, all the time) because they are such highly trained medical staff. This means that every single AHI nurse has a constant option for accepting a more remunerative job offer outside India . This in itself is a credit to AHI, but there is an issue that remains to be fairly solved, with justice to AHI.

AHI patients are entitled to the superlative world-class care that they expect from AHI. This care, again, is a basic and full patient entitlement. Patient safety cannot be compromised, a patient’s life is at stake. That is why AHI pays the full price for training the nurses for one year at a significant cost. One full year of AHI time, expertise and commitment is lavished on each nurse. The very least that AHI has a right to be given is a full year of clean, committed service. Is there a single rational person who can dispute this?

An AHI nurse has a lifetime of every increasing professional opportunity because of the AHI training. The nurse does not pay for the training, AHI does! The nurse receives top-quality training from a top-quality hospital and gains top-quality credentials. An entire career begins in the care of India’s highest accredited hospital. The AHI stamp opens doors at the very best hospitals everywhere. Surely there is justice in expecting a nurse to provide the hospital with one full year of service — not for AHI, but for the patients.


For more information on diet, health and nutrition, please email Harpinder Gill at You are welcome to email us with any question on any health topic. Please allow 24 hours for an answer, and if your query seems requiring an urgent response, expect to hear from us before that time.


India has had notable health achievements since independence in 1947. Life expectancy has doubled and infant mortality and crude death rates have been greatly reduced.1 Some diseases, such as small pox and guinea worm, have been eradicated. Leprosy and polio, have been nearly eliminated. And India’s doctors and hospitals are increasingly receiving recognition for the quality of care they provide.

Nevertheless, India faces considerable challenges. For example, the country accounts for a relatively large share of the world’s disease burden. And while India’s burgeoning middle class has greater access to excellent healthcare, the vast majority of citizens still have limited access to basic care. The quality of care varies significantly, as well.

An examination of healthcare systems in other countries underscores the importance of achieving a value-based, affordable, sustainable healthcare system in India. Unrelenting pressures are pushing many healthcare systems along an unsustainable path. What does this mean for India?

Despite significant investments, the healthcare infrastructure will likely remain fragmented, focused on acute, reactive, episodic care and will be inaccessible for many, particularly in rural areas. And the insufficient healthcare delivery capacity would be exacerbated, as providers are burdened by such issues as workforce shortages and overcrowding.

There are clearly two kinds of healthcare organisations that will thrive; those that focus on bringing world class standards and ‘set new benchmarks in best practices’ in terms of technology, training and patient care and disseminate this knowledge to the younger generation passing out of colleges. These organisations cannot compromise on training and quality in the face of any amount of pressure and I would like to add that, will over time contribute to sensitising people about ‘newer definitions of accepted standards of quality’. This is easier said than done. We have recently faced considerable problem with our nursing staff and explaining to the local media that commitment to quality is not lip service; but an exacting everyday affair.

Asian Heart Institute is India’s only cardiac hospital with JCI and NIAHO certifications. This puts it among a handful of hospitals in the world that are trusted by patients who care for the very best treatment – among our patients are numerous heads of state, who depend on the very highest standards of medical service and treatment. We save lives that cannot be saved elsewhere due to our “insane commitment” to processes; and all progress happens because of the insane and irrational man, as Bernard Shaw would agree.

We have had to create and invest in our own training program for all levels of staff. Special emphasis has always been given to our nurses training – because they are the essential interface between what our expert doctors recommend and the on-going treatment experience our patients receive. This training is not just an expensive investment by us-  indeed, unlike other places, we don’t charge our employees for the training, but it is well-recognised overseas too – many of our nurses in the past have received lucrative offers among the worlds best hospitals.

The other kind of healthcare organisation that will thrive is that which expands the reach of healthcare itself with the use of technology. Fortunately, a more positive scenario is possible. Some fantastic work is being done by organisations such as GV Meditech and Vatsalya in ‘rural India’ led by visionaries such as Vineet Rai. The visionary Sam Pitroda speaks of a Digital Knowledge Network, that enables institutions to share information for inclusive growth and development. India is a country of 800 billion cell phones, 70 billion dollars of IT exports and yet the reach of medical services  is poor.

So what needs to be done. Healthcare providers have to expand their current focus on episodic, acute care to encompass the enhanced management of chronic diseases and the life-long prediction and prevention of illness.Suppliers work collaboratively with care delivery organizations, clinicians, and patients to produce products that improve outcomes or provide equivalent outcomes at lower costs, particularly for diseases endemic to India. Society has to make rational decisions regarding lifestyle expectations, acceptable behaviors and privacy policies. Healthcare itself should be a societal right versus a market service to provide all Indians at least environmental and basic healthcare.

Looking forward to a better healthier India.


For more information on diet, health and nutrition, please email Harpinder Gill at You are welcome to email us with any question on any health topic. Please allow 24 hours for an answer, and if your query seems requiring an urgent response, expect to hear from us before that time.

The nursing issue: the real picture.FROM THE ASIAN HEART INSTITUTE

Is there any difference in the way AHI trains its nurses?

Asian Heart Institute is the country’s highest-certified cardiac hospital, with JCI and NIAHO certifications, comparable with the best in the world. Our training standards are exacting and our process is rigourous. Any nurse who has ever worked with AHI finds a lucrative job market abroad; after 2 years, simply because we have the best training program.

What is a nursing bond?

‘Bond’ is a loose term for the minimum employment period that nurses have to complete with the hospital, post training. So training takes a year; then they work for another year before they are free to look for better prospects. The training is invaluable.There is no law of the land that says anything against minimum employment period against training. All Governments/armed forces/ medical services have a bond for people passing their MBBS and post graduation (After MBBS, a medical graduate is required to sign a bond with the government to serve in rural areas for a year, or to pay up if he or she opts to skip this.)

What demands of the nursing staff have we agreed to?

Right from 19th October; when the stike began, AHI has agreed to the following and even signed a letter to this effect.

1. The nursing certificates will be returned to the nurses.

2. The hospital experience certificate will be given to those nursing staff who have worked for or more than 2 years.

3. Staff who have not worked for 2 years, will only be issued a certificate that will state the duration of work.

4. The nursing staff who will rejoin will have to give a guarantee/commitment for the remaining part of their 2 year contract.

5. More importantly, we will re-interview these nurses because some of them have turned vandals.

What is the issue currently?

Asian Heart Institute stands for patient safety and highest level of patient care. The striking staff walked out leaving behind critically ill patients who were on life support and life-saving medicines. Moreover the striking staff has also threatened other staff who were willing to and were looking after these critical patients. I am told calls have been made to the family members of the working staff; threatening them with dire consequences.

Whats is the agitation about?

We have agreed to all the reasonable demands and also signed a charter. We are waiting for the nurses to join us. Out of the 170 striking staff, over 140 have confided to the Nursing Director that they want to join back. They are being victimized by the 30 odd nursing staff who are just creating nuisance value, by not letting patients enter the hospital. About four female nurses ignored threats and joined back today. They were escorted by security to get their clothes as they were worried about being harmed by the protestors.

What is the issue of the sad demise of Beena Baby? 

What has started with the unfortunate demise of Beena Baby; a diligent, highly professional nurse, whose suicide was for purely personal reasons,  has now been distored by vested interests. We have given the nurse’s family 5 Lac Rupees and borne all embalming and transport expenses. The nurse’s family does not bear the hospital any grudges.


For more information on diet, health and nutrition, please email Harpinder Gill at You are welcome to email us with any question on any health topic. Please allow 24 hours for an answer, and if your query seems requiring an urgent response, expect to hear from us before that time.

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